About Highland Park 21 Year Old 2020 Release
Founded in 1798, presumably by Magnus Eunson, Highland Park’s distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery in Kirkwall Orkney. Highland Park is the northernmost distillery in Scotland, a half mile further north than Scapa distillery. Although the name of the whisky has “Highland” in the title, the name of the whisky does not refer to the Scottish Highlands, but rather to the fact that the distillery was founded on an area called “High Park” which is distinguished from a “lower Park” area nearby.
Highland Park malts its own barley, using locally cut peat from the nearby Hobbister Moor. The malt is peated to 20 parts per million phenol and then mixed with unpeated malt produced on the Scottish mainland.
Highland Park is home to several critically acclaimed whiskies, offering several proprietary bottlings by year. In 1984, they became the first whisky ever to have scored a rating of 100% from “The Scotland” newspaper’s tasting team.
Highland Park is made today, just as it was in 1798, using what they call their “five keystones of production”: aromatic peat, hand-turned floor maltings, sherry oak casks, cool maturation, and cask harmonization.
Their peat is hand-cut from the Hobbister Moor, no less than seven miles from the distillery. The moor is over 9,000 years old, going as deep as four meters. The barren woodless moor is composed layer upon layer of densely compacted vegetation. Rich in heather, the peat is dried naturally in the summer, then burned in ancient kilns, “where its heathery aromatic smoke infuses the malting barley.”
Highland Park is also one of the few distilleries that meticulously turns their malt by hand. Their barrels are cut from European and American oak, and crafted into staves at precisely 45°. This was the method used by the Vikings to make their longships watertight. This special Highland Park single malt is matured predominately in American ex-sherry casks for 21 years. It received "96 Points, Finalist, Tried & True Award" at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, the "Gold Medal" at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and "97 Points & Chairman's Trophy for Best Island Single Malt" at the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
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Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt.
Check out our impressive selection of scotch whiskies, find your new favorite in the Top 10 scotch whiskies, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find scotch whiskies.